South African Women have cruised to a comfortable 84 run win in the second ODI at the Harlequins Oval in Pretoria, and are on the doorstep of a series win, should they beat Pakistan a third time in the five ODI series on Wednesday.
In a stop-start innings, SA Women compiled a competitive 226 runs, when Pakistan chose to keep early conditions for their bowlers after winning the toss.
Stand-in captain Cri-Zelda Brits continued to impress selectors with a top-scoring 54 off 70 deliveries, following her quick-fire 39 for a winning cause during the first ODI on Saturday.
Seasoned opening batswoman Daleen Terblanche overcame her Saturday hiccup to score a steady 49, and Susan Benade’s 41 added with debutant Mignon du Preez’s quick 13 runs made for a competitive total, despite wickets falling in two’s at periodic intervals.
Urooj Mumtaz’s slow legbreak bowling was most devastating for South Africa, with five batswomen falling in 6.5 overs, to give her a second 5-wicket haul in her 17th ODI.
In reply, Pakistan struggled to get up to the initial 4.5 required run-rate, and pressure was the most likely cause of the 3 wickets falling around the 10th over, with a bare 27 reflected in Pakistan’s runs column.
Opening bowler Shabnil Ismail was again impressive, claiming South Africa’s first two wickets in the 10th over, to put Pakistan on the back foot.
First change bowler Sunette Loubser finished her 10 overs of easy right-arm offbreak calmly, her two wickets costing SA a measly 21 runs.
Mumtaz and Sana Javed then batted out the better part of 95 balls for their 55 run partnership, but when both of their wickets fell in the space of 6 balls, their leisurely strike rates put the remaining batswomen in a position from which a win was unlikely.
Sajjida Shah and Batool Fatima took up the reigns but, after a breezy 6 runs in their first over together, continued the earlier pace of less than three runs an over for the next 10 overs.
With Susan Benade’s medium-fast four overs costing considerably more than in the first ODI, Brits called on her part-time bowlers Claire Terblanche and Johmari Logtenberg.
The surprise factor broke Pakistan’s second major partnership, with the two conceded 13 runs in 6 overs at a stage when Pakistan desperately needed to up the pace.
Shah batted on bravely with the lower order to the end, and her best effort contributed a top score of 34 not out in a poor total 142/8 for Pakistan.
South Africa will be pleased at a second comprehensive win, this time by 84 runs, but Pakistan will be eager to improve their batting tempo despite unfamiliar conditions and hazardous bowling, to prevent a series loss when the two sides next meet on Wednesday at Sinovich Park, Pretoria.